SuperGroup profits are less than super

In the year 2011-12 Supergroup opened 124,000 sq ft of new space, including its flagship store on Regent Street

SuperGroup has promised a more "structured and disciplined approach" to how the fashion retailer is run after a series of mistakes caused its annual profits to tumble by 15 per cent.

The company behind the Superdry and Cult clothing brands is also to cut back on its store-opening programme, at a time when internet sales are growing strongly.

Chairman Peter Bamford said it had been a "difficult" year, adding that the group's "communications with the City have proved to be challenging".

The retailer said the reasons for its three profit warnings last year were a botched upgrade of its warehouse systems in the autumn, fierce discounting by rivals and errors in accounting.

SuperGroup's underlying profits tumbled by 14.7 per cent to £42.8m over the year to 29 April, although new stores drove revenues up by 31.9 per cent to £313.8m.

To improve its performance, the group announced Shaun Wills, the former chief operating officer of Habitat, as its new finance director in March. One of his first jobs was to review and strengthen internal forecasting controls.

The fashion group also hired Susanne Given, a director of fashion and beauty at John Lewis Partnership, as its new chief operating officer.

Mr Bamford said the changes would "ensure that the board can be more effective in underpinning the exceptional entrepreneurial skills and passion in the business with a more structured and disciplined approach".

UK underlying sales in stores that have been open at least a year grew by only 2 per cent, including strong online revenues. SuperGroup's chief executive, Julian Dunkerton, said: "The reality is that the retail landscape has changed in the last few years."

He said the management changes would free him up to focus on improving its ranges, and added: "Womenswear is an area of opportunity [where] we have not been as strong as we could have been."

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